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MDOC defends new food system to legislature

Flickr User SummerSizzler

The Michigan Department of Corrections defended its plans to change how it feeds prisoners Wednesday Department officials testified in front of a Senate committee.

During the meeting, Chair John Proos questioned whether the department has the resources to handle food services oversight. He says the food service industry has a high turnover rate and the department might have trouble keeping employees.

Kyle Kaminski is with the department. He says these are civil service jobs and that makes them more desirable than regular food service jobs.

“We have individuals who are wardens who started out in our kitchens.”

He says food is an integral part of running an efficient prison.

“Food helps drive our operations, it helps drive the morale of our prisoner population and so it’s very important to us that we’re consistently delivering on what we’re trying to do in this area of our operations.”

Republican Senator John Proos is chair of the committee in charge of the corrections’ budget. He also wants to consider more training for inmates in food services.

“It seems to me to be a reasonable expectation that if we’re gonna be redesigning the entire system and bringing people in house with new state employees, perhaps those new state employees can also be good mentors and be in a position to train people to be successful outside the walls.”

Proos says ensuring parolees have jobs and are successful outside of prison is key to making sure they don’t commit new crimes.